FRU­GAL

The Denver Post - - FEATURES -

and the in­ner work­ings of the seat ap­plied pres­sure to my lower back. I took a sip of bub­bly and waited for zone three to board.

I was nes­tled in my over­size du­vet watch­ing “Fences” when the ded­i­cated flight at­ten­dant asked, “Will you be join­ing us for din­ner?” It was 11:30 p.m. I chose the ham­burger over the cold chicken salad. My tray was quickly cov­ered with a cloth nap­kin — the white table­cloth of the skies.

What ap­peared to be a mi­crowaved burger ar­rived with a se­lec­tion of condi­ments, potato chips, an ap­ple tart, some fruit — and my re­quested wine. I was promptly asked if I wanted a re­fill.

Af­ter my din­ner was cleared and I’d watched most of “Fences,” I joined the rest of the cabin and trig­gered the 6-foot-plus bed. This was where I was sup­posed to fall asleep. In a re­clin­ing po­si­tion, how­ever, it be­came un­equiv­o­cally ap­par­ent that I was trapped in a tin can shoot­ing through the air.

I tossed and turned, and twitched into sleep only to be awak­ened by the sound of flight at­ten­dants mov­ing through the aisle. I gasped awake 20 min­utes be­fore land­ing and hastily put my seat in the up­right po­si­tion.

On the ground in New York, the hu­mid­ity seeped into the cabin. That’s when I truly ap­pre­ci­ated the con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment of Delta One. I never once wor­ried about the tem­per­a­ture, thirst, hunger, in­vad­ing some­one else’s space — or vice versa. From board­ing to ex­it­ing the air­craft, I felt cared for.

But I was still un­com­fort­able. Not phys­i­cally, of course, but be­cause be­ing seated and stretch­ing out in an “ex­clu­sive” seat felt wrong to me at a time when the dis­crep­an­cies be­tween sec­tions are stark and steadily in­creas­ing.

I don’t re­gret rev­el­ing in my heav­enly blan­ket or say­ing “hi” to Pa­per Boi in the in­ter­est of jour­nal­ism, but I’m go­ing back to my roots. My next flight is booked in ba­sic econ­omy.

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